Hurrah for the non-gender-specific-brotherhood of nerddom. Speaking of which: did you know that Pythagoras’ wife Theano wrote treatises on mathematics? Chicks in maths and physics have had a bit of a rollercoaster ride when it comes to acceptance into these fields throughout history. If anyone out there ever thinks they’ve been picked on for being a nerd, wait till you read what happened to the female Greek mathematician Hypatia, in the first instalment of our three-part series on women in physics and astronomy. Then check out a very different life’s story when you read about Jane on page 12, and see the damage that can be wrought to one’s family tree with nothing but a time machine.